All the news for Monday 18 June 2018
Kookaburras Claim Series Ahead Of Champions Trophy
Standout performances from Trent Mitton and second-gamer Tim Brand have helped the Kookaburras secure a 2-2 draw with Germany on Monday morning. The side, undefeated in their Test Series, now head into this week’s Champions Trophy with some strong momentum.
The second clash in as many days with Germany proved to be an exciting matchup. With the two sides now familiar with one another, Monday morning’s match went right down to the wire. After two early goals to the Germans by way of Tom Grambusch and Dieter Linnekogel, it took Brand’s first international goal to steady the ship before the in-form Mitton scored his third goal for the series to tie things up.
Co-captains Eddie Ockenden and Aran Zalewski were among the Kookaburras best, showing leadership both on and off the pitch throughout the series, while youngsters Brand and Johan Durst showed some spark for the Australians.
Brand debuted for the Kookaburras in Sunday’s clash against Germany whilst Victorian goalkeeper Durst made his debut in Monday’s draw.
Head Coach Colin Batch spoke on the duos introduction to international hockey.
“For them to come in an play against such a good team like Germany is a good experience first up. It’s a tough debut but it’s also a very good one to play against such a top ranked team like Germany” said Batch.
“It’s one thing to prepare in the training environment but to come away and play in these two Test matches has been very good preparation for us. We don’t come up against Germany in the Champions Trophy so it was an added bonus to play another European team.”
The Kookaburras will now head to Holland ahead of their first match in the Champions Trophy against Belgium on Sunday.
Batch spoke on the importance of performing at the upcoming tournament.
“We’re a very competitive team and we want to do well at the tournament, we want to learn about ourselves firstly and test ourselves against the best teams that are there. It’s also about preparing for the World Cup at the end of the year so we’ll use this as a marker for where we’re at.”
The world number one Kookaburras will come up against the Netherlands (ranked fourth), Argentina (2016 Olympic gold medallists and ranked second), Belgium (ranked third), India (ranked sixth) and Pakistan (ranked 13th) at the Champions Trophy.
All of Australia’s Champions Trophy games will be broadcast LIVE on Fox Sports.
Hockey Australia media release
USWNT Falls to Argentina in Final Test Series Match
TUCUMAN, Argentina - Having not won a game in the test series so far, the U.S. Women’s National Team went into the final match against FIH Hero World Ranked No. 3 Argentina with a mentality to not give up. Scoreless after the first quarter, Argentina persisted to score two in the second and one in the third, but not before the USWNT showed grit and added one back. Misconnections and unforced turnovers were exposed for USA as they fell 3-1.
USA started the match with possession, but it didn’t take long for Argentina to take control by getting it into their attacking circle and earning a close chance that went wide of the goal. USA didn’t’ sit back and used quick passing through the midfield to work the ball upfield to Taylor West (Princess Anne, Md.), who was stripped right outside the circle. USA threatened a second time but was unable to break through Argentina’s defense. Los Leonas shifted the momentum to the other end where Delfina Merino tried to weave into the circle, but was met by three USA defenders to disrupt the play. This was followed by an infield break by Argentina, give and go pass to enter the circle and then shifted to left side where a striker got a backhand shot off that Jackie Briggs (Robesonia, Pa.) made a spectacular save on. The remainder of the quarter saw USA finish on attack as the score was deadlocked at 0-0.
As Argentina continued to penetrate forward, USA’s defense remained strong, limiting the chances, shutting down the channels and contesting every ball. Once possession was gained, quick passing down the left side line through Alyssa Manley (Lititz, Pa.) to Lauren Moyer (York, Pa.) got USA in their attacking end as they searched for an outcome. Similar to USA, Argentina’s defense stayed solid cutting down the offense. In the 21st minute, Argentina earned their first penalty corner of the game. A textbook play as the ball was send down to a well-positioned Maria Granatto who deflected it into the net for a 1-0 Argentina lead. Three minutes later, Los Leonas were still on the attack and earned back-to-back penalty corners. On the second attempt, the ball fell to Lucina von der Heyde who thought to have extended the lead, but her goal was disallowed. Argentina continued to threaten and in the 26th minute a midfield pickup was pushed forward and deep to Julieta Jankunas who sent a backhand into the corner of the goal to make it 2-0 to Argentina. With a minute remaining in the half, Caitlin Van Sickle (Wilmington, Del.) earned a green card giving Argentina a player up advantage. Los Leonas earned a penalty corner where the drag was deflected off the flyer’s stick and landed to the inserter’s backhand forcing Briggs to make a diving stick save. The scramble continued as Granatto attempted a second shot that was redirected over the goal just before the halftime horn sounded with Argentina holding the 2-0 lead.
The third quarter started with a push back from Argentina and they swiftly used that control to work the ball into their offensive end. Quickness and an infield break allowed Argentina to get behind USA’s defense and get a shot off that went wide. In the 35th minute, Argentina extended their lead to 3-0 when Granatto dumped the ball into the circle where a backhand cross toward goal was tipped in by Martina Cavallero. Argentina was persistent on attack as they continued to challenge Briggs and the defensive unit. USA started to implement a higher press that generated some pick-ups up field which turned into instant offense. In the 39th minute, USA earned a penalty corner and the straight shot my Kathleen Sharkey (Moosic, Pa.) was stopped by Argentina’s goalkeeper Belen Succi but Erin Matson (Chadds Ford, Pa.) was there to put it in. Adding the goal back to make it 3-1 held a momentum shift for USA as they produced even more offensive sequences that resulted in circle penetrations. The high press forced an Argentina turnover that was picked up by Michelle Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.), passed over to Van Sickle who dumped it into the circle where Jill (Witmer) Funk (Lancaster, Pa.) collected and turned to get a shot off. The third quarter finished with Argentina holding the lead 3-1.
Eager to cut the goal margin, USA had to continue to press hard together and limit defensive turnovers. Possession in the beginning of the fourth quarter before Argentina earned a penalty corner in the 51st minute. Another setup play was unsuccessful when the attempt hit the outside of the goal. Argentina continued to be an offensive danger as USA struggled to get connections upfield as the final frame concluded, USA 1, Argentina 3.
The U.S. Women’s National Team will return to the Home of Hockey to finish up final preparations before heading to the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup in London in July.
USFHA media release
Daniel leads T&T hockey sweep of Guyana
Shaquille Daniel netted a pair of goals as T&T senior men’s hockey team continued their build-up to the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games with a 5-2 whipping of Guyana at the National Hockey Centre, Tacarigua to complete a 3-0 series yesterday.
Kristien Emmanuel opened the scoring for the Glen “Fido” Francois coached T&T men in the seventh minute before Joel Daniel doubled the lead in the tenth.
Guyana managed to cut the lead in the 21st minute through Robert France, but Danielle (38th) and Marcus James (43rd) then found the back of the net to restore the local hockey superiority.
Guyana did not drop their heads and got the second item in the 45th minute through, Aroydy Brandford, but any hopes of a comeback were quickly squashed when Danielle got his second in the 46th minute to seal a 5-2 triumph and 3-0 series triumph.
On Friday, Akim Toussiant and Michael O’Connor II got the goals for T&T hockey men in the eight and ninth minute respectively.
A day later, Daniel Byer (28th), Kristien Emmanuel (30th), Dylan Francis (52nd) and England-based Tariq Marcano (60th) were all on the scoresheet in the lopsided victory.
At the (CAC) Games from July 20 to August 3, 2018, in Barranquilla, Colombia, T&T men will face Cuba, Barbados and Colombia in Pool A while Jamaica, Mexico, Guyana and the Dominican Republic are in Pool B. T&T women will also participate in Colombia against Barbados, Guyana and Jamaica in Pool B while Mexico, Dominican Republic, Colombia and Cuba are in Pool A.
The Trinidad Guardian
Canada and Ireland Play to a Draw in the SoftCo Test Series
By Tristan Urry
Photo: Tristan Urry
Dublin, Ireland Tensions were high at the Pembroke Wanderers Hockey Club Saturday evening as Canada played Ireland for the second and final match of the SoftCo test series after Canada’s victory (3 - 0) on Friday.
Ireland came out firing and were taking an aggressive stance on the pitch during the first half. During the second quarter, Ireland's Sara Torrans scored the first game point on a Penalty Stroke.
Canada came in operating at a slower start than anticipated but quickly changed their pace in the second half. “it took us the first half to get into the game but during the second half we moved the ball around at the back quite well and played with more speed and firing off more shots” said Karli Johansen, Canada’s #14 Defender.
Canada’s aggressive shift in the second half of the match allowed Brienne Stairs to score the equalizing goal midway through the fourth quarter by redirecting the ball off the keepers pads and into the back of the net. “The goal was a really good team effort moving the ball into the circle” commented Stairs after the game.
The draw concludes the 2 game SoftCo Test Series, Canada leaves Ireland with a win and a tie. Canada now moves onto Amsterdam, their next match is against Holland at Wagener Stadium on Monday, June 18th at 4:00pm.
Field Hockey Canada Women's Team media release
U-21 USWNT Withstood Argentina's Attack in Final Game of Test Series
TUCUMAN, Argentina – In their final match of the three-game series, the U.S. U-21 Women’s National Team battled Argentina’s U-21 squad at the Gymnastics and Swimming Club in Tucuman, Argentina. What started as a dominant ball control performance by Argentina was met by a ‘never give up’ attitude by the U-21 USWNT. Los Leoncitas earned an impressive 15 penalty corners, but USA withstood the attack to only fall to the host nation 2-1 in the 53rd minute.
From the opening whistle, all play was in favor of Argentina as they quickly put USA on the backfoot and earned a sequence of penalty corners. The first attempt was slipped, and the shot was saved on the post by Cassie Sumfest (Lewisburg, Pa.) but resulted in another Argentina penalty corner. Try two was buried into the corner of the goal by Sofia Toccalino to give Los Leoncitas a 1-0 advantage. It didn’t take long for USA to quickly transition the ball up the right sideline where Corinne Zanolli (Newtown Square, Pa.) worked it in the circle and pushed it toward goal. The ball went through an approaching Argentina goalkeeper and Kelee Lepage (Honey Brook, Pa.) was there to finish and tie the game. Argentina resumed their threatening attack with another penalty corner, where even though the backhand shot went in, it was disallowed for being too high.
The eagerness to score was present for both teams at the start of the second quarter. Argentina earned their seventh penalty corner but on the effort, flyer Brooke Deberdine (Millersville, Pa.) got a stick on the shot to disrupt the play. In turn, USA moved control to the other end where they earned their first penalty corner, but the call was reversed giving possession back to Los Leoncitas. This fueled a few close chances for Argentina, but USA’s defense withstood the attack. A spark for the U-21 USWNT came when Sophia Tornetta (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.) used crafty skills in the left corner to break into the circle. Back-to-back penalty corners were given to Argentina but USA goalkeeper Kelsey Bing (Houston, Texas) and the defensive unit made the blocks. USA earned their first true penalty corner when Deberdine worked it into the circle. Off the attempt, a rocket of a drag by Kelsey Ballard’s (Charlottesville, Va.) went off the post and landed with Laura Hurff (Newark, Del.) on the follow up but she was unable to connect. Argentina finished with a close chance at the end of the quarter, but the halftime score stood 1-1.
The third quarter started with control to Argentina as they patiently worked it into their attacking 25-yards. USA shifted their game plan and sat in a half-field press to absorb the threatening offense. A close chance came for USA when Hurff passed it up field to Zanolli who was shut down just outside the circle. The U-21 USWNT regained possession but was unable to generate any attack. The other way, Argentina kept knocking at the door with a series of shots and three more penalty corner opportunities. On the first attempt, Deberdine again got a stick on the shot to deflect it away. Bing was very active on the second try and after making the initial save, recovered to make another. The last effort was an Argentina drag that was saved by a diving Bing, keeping the score locked at 1-1.
Argentina continued their attacking momentum to start the fourth quarter as a striker got a backhand shot off that went off Bing’s helmet. USA remained in the half-field press shutting down the forward channels and challenging the ball. Midway through the frame, Argentina earned their fourteenth penalty corner which was perfectly executed when the drag from the top was send down to the right and deflected into the net by Milagros Fernández Ladra to make it 2-1 to Argentina. USA had some chances of hope using plays into the pockets to work it up field but struggled connect in the final 25-yards. With Argentina on the hunt to extend their lead, the horn sounded as the final score was USA 1, Argentina 2.
Members of the U.S. U-21 Women’s National Team will compete next week at the Young Women’s National Championship from June 25-29 in Lancaster, Pa.
USFHA media release
FIH write off Colin Batch’s hat trick from Champions Trophy Hockey records
By B.G.Joshi (Sehore-Bhopal, India)
It is not for the first time FIH finds itself in statistical mess, apparently in the media kit released for Breda Champions Trophy (June 23-July 1, 2018). FIH have written off Australian Colin Batch’s hat trick against Netherlands (1980 Champions Trophy). On Jan 8,1980 Australia defeated Netherlands 7-3, Ron Riley(19’,49’), Jim Irvine(35’), Grant Boyce(50’) and Colin Batch(52’,57’,61’) were the Australian scorers.FIH website shows the result as 6-3 and hence missing goal scored on 61’ minute by Colin Batch.
There was another hat trick in the same match which is reflecting correctly Paul Litjens(3’,32’,67’).
There seems to be lot of statistical issues with 1980 CT results:
In 1980 CT Pakistan beat Germany (then West Germany) by 4-3 (FIH shows it 4-2). FIH result missed Wolfgang Strodter‘s goal scored in 68th minute. Missing of these two vital goals reduces the total tally of 2997 goals in CT (as FIH shows the tournament goal count as 2995, page 25 of http://fih.ch/media/12944430/983_htc_ned_mediakit_fv.pdf).
In Melbourne CT (2012) Pakistan defeated India 3-2 in Bronze medal match wherein as per FIH’s record score line is reversed which raises eyebrows about the CT media kit of 2018 (http://stats.fih.ch).
In overall Match statistics, win in a tie breaker/shoot out are reflected under draw. FIH’s team stats for CT shows Australian shoot out triumph in London CT (2016) under win, however forget their tie breaker win over Korea in Bronze medal match in 1998 Lahore CT. Above inconsistencies has goofed up the statistics of Australia, West Germany, Pakistan and India (http://stats.fih.ch).
In 2009 and 2011 www.infostradasports.com has compiled Champions Trophy stats and records for FIH. Mistakes were corrected at that time. Arjen Meijer (the then communication manager-FIH) and Chantal Janssen (in charge sport desk) have sent mail to me on dated Jan 15, 2009 and Dec 5, 2011 respectively.
Three goals in match is a hat trick in Hockey. Till date 73 hat trick has been registered, most 22 by Netherlands players. Following table shows 3 hat tricks netted in shortest period:
Nam Hyun Woo
Colin Batch has the record of completing first shortest duration hat trick, statistical mess created by FIH could not hide his feat. Media guide released before 2012 Melbourne Champions Trophy by FIH was correct in all respect. Request to FIH, please correct the CT media kit 2018.
The Vitality Hockey Women's World Cup enters final countdown
China and Netherlands will play each other in Breda ahead of the World Cup Photo: FIH/WSP
While hockey fans and spectators across the globe wait for the advent of the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018, the teams themselves have a busy time ahead of them. With practice matches, test series and four nations tournaments taking place over the next month, hockey fans have plenty of chances to see their favourite teams and players in action.
One city that is showcasing hockey over the month of June is the Dutch city of Breda. Not only is the six nation men's Rabobank Hockey Champions Trophy taking place in Breda from 23 June to 1 July, but four of the world's top women's teams are also descending for a Four Nations Tournament from 26-30 June. Reigning World Cup champions the Netherlands, Spain, Japan and China are playing each other in a round robin competition that is being held alongside the Rabobank Hockey Champions Trophy.
Wherever they are making their final preparations, these next few weeks will be testing times as squads are finalised, new systems and strategies tested and players put through their paces.
The Head Coaches will be wrestling with their starting line-ups, the penalty corner routines and identifying players who will step up should a match go to shoot-out.
Speak to any of the Coaches who will be leading their teams at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park this July and August and they will tell you about the tiny details and the minutiae of organisation that needs to be in place so their players can hit the ground running and play to their potential.
To ready themselves for the challenge that awaits them in London, all the participating nations have a busy schedule of internationals. This might appear strange to the onlooker, why, for instance, are teams playing friendly matches against the very teams that they will face at the World Cup?
One of the answers comes from England Head Coach, Danny Kerry, who spoke of the psychological advantage that players have if they see a rising number of caps by their names.
England are one of the teams who have been touring the globe to make sure that, come the World Cup, the squad members, even those new to the set-up, will feel very much part of the team and not see themselves as naive newcomers.
Which is also great for hockey fans as it means there are extra opportunities to see their favourite teams and players in international action.
In the southern hemisphere, Japan, Australia and New Zealand have just finished a Tri-Nations tournament, with Australia finishing in first place, just ahead of Oceanic rivals, New Zealand. At the beginning of July all three teams will travel to Europe where they will play a number of friendly matches and test matches as part of the acclimatisation process.
Ireland have had a busy time as they crossed the Irish Sea at the beginning of June to play Scotland, before they play a three-test series against Canada in Dublin and then a Tri-Nations invitational against Germany and Canada in Berlin. Finally, the Irish women will test themselves against Italy and Chile in another three-way invitational event.
Some of the Argentinian players got a run-out at the XI South American Games Cochabamba in Bolivia before undertaking an intense five test series against fellow World Cup participants USA. Both teams will then head to Europe for their final preparations.
China and Japan will be in Europe throughout June. Head Coaches Jamilon Muelders (China) and Anthony Farry (Japan) will be keen to get their players acclimatised as quickly as possible. China will be getting a workout against Belgium, while Japan face Ireland before both teams head to Breda for the Four Nations event.
Spain are another nation who are getting a lot of international experience under their belt in the next few weeks. They will play India at home in Madrid, then travel to England to experience the actual World Cup venue in London, one of many teams who are taking an opportunity to experience playing at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre ahead of the Vitality Hockey Women's World Cup itself.
Aside from providing a hectic and gruelling schedule for the players and coaches to go through in the final weeks and days before a major international event, this is also a time that is fraught with nerves on the part of the squads.
Players will be anxiously waiting to see if they have done enough to make the squads; the coaches will be endlessly playing over different scenarios that could occur; and lurking in everyone’s minds is the constant threat of a competition-ending injury.
With less than a few weeks to go before the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup begins, much drama will already have been played out as the teams go through the final stages of preparation.
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HA Celebrates Hockey’s Remarkable Olympic Record
Australia has a remarkable history in Hockey at the Olympic Games, with the Hockeyroos considered the nation’s most successful Olympic team and the Kookaburras more often than not on the dais.
In total, Australia has competed in men’s or women’s Hockey competitions at the Olympics 24 times, collecting 12 medals. Among them are four gold medals, all in the past 30 years.
Ahead of the annual Olympic Day celebration on 23 June, and with rough 25 months until Tokyo 2020, we wanted to reflect on Hockey’s Olympic tradition given our success.
The Hockeyroos have won Olympic gold three times, most memorably at the 2000 Sydney Games cheered on by a boisterous home crowd.
Before that, the Hockeyroos won Olympic gold at the second games they competed in at Seoul in 1988.
The Kookaburras had to wait much longer for Olympic success, having debuted at the 1956 Melbourne Games.
Australia’s men’s team have never finished lower than sixth across 15 Olympic Games which is a feat which shouldn’t be under-estimated.
However, they had to wait until their 12th games to finally secure their maiden Olympic gold medal, triumphing in Athens in 2004.
Prior to that, the Kookaburras had lost the gold medal matches in 1968, 1976 and 1992, while they’d also finished third on three occasions too.
It’s fair to say, Australia’s 2004 triumph was long-awaited and lifted the perceived curse, with Kookaburras legend Jamie Dwyer hitting an extra-time winner in the final against the Netherlands.
The Hockeyroos’ 1988 victory in Seoul was less dramatic but no less challenging, knocking over the hosts 2-0 in the gold medal match after goals from Debbie Bowman-Sullivan and Lee Capes.
Australia met South Korea again in the final in Atlanta eight years later, with all-time top scorer Alyson Annan netting a double and Katrina Powell hitting the scoresheet in a 3-1 win.
Four years later, with the weight of expectations from the Australian public in Sydney, the Hockeyroos triumphed again, defeating Argentina 3-1 in the decider with Annan, Juliet Haslam and Jenny Morris scoring.
Hockey Australia media release
Naveen Patnaik reviews infra works at Kalinga Stadium
Sujit Kumar Bisoyi
BHUBANESWAR: Chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday visited the hockey stadium insider the Kalinga Sports Complex here to inspect the infrastructure augmentation works ahead of the Odisha Men's Hockey World Cup 2018.
Senior officials of the state sports department and state-owned Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (Idco), which is undertaking the infrastructure works briefed Naveen about the ongoing work.
According to official sources, the chief minister expressed his satisfaction on the expedited pace of work and directed to complete as per schedule.
"Reviewed the progress of work at #Kalinga Stadium & happy to see the pace of the beautification and modernization work. I am assured that it will be completed well in time, ensuring a world-class hockey experience during Odisha Men's Hockey World Cup 2018," tweeted Naveen after visiting the stadium.
The chief minister also said that the seating capacity of the hockey stadium has been increased to 15,000 from the existing 5000 which will give an opportunity to more people to watch the matches during the mega sporting event.
The World Cup is scheduled from November 28 to December 16 in which 16 best countries would participate. A grand opening ceremony would be organized on November 27, day before beginning of the matches.
On the infrastructure works, sports secretary Vishal Dev said the Kalinga hockey stadium is fully prepared for hosting the hockey world cup.
"We are quite happy and satisfied with how the infrastructural work is shaping up at the hockey stadium. Apart the new turf being laid at the hockey ground, we have upgraded the flood lights of both the practice and main pitch. We are further giving the entire stadium a face lift by widening the roads, installing a new gate and permanent CCTV cameras from safety point of view," said Dev.
The sports secretary said the aim of the state government is to permeate the image of Odisha globally through the Hockey world cup.
The state government has lined up series of campaigns for the mega event which will begin from next month to create a buzz about the world cup nationwide.
The state government will also publicize about the event at the Hockey women's world cup, which would kick start next month in London.
The Times of India
England Masters - it is a family affair
Jaswant Singh Bansal (Santa) and son Rajinder Singh Bansal (Bobby)
We may be bias but hockey truly is a brilliant sport, it can be played by all ages! As it is Father’s day we want to share these wonderful stories within our England masters squads.
History has been made this year with not one but two fathers in the England O65 squad with sons also representing England Masters.
Firstly Jaswant Singh Bansal (Santa) and son Rajinder Singh Bansal (Bobby), both born in Kenya, have both played much of their club hockey for Indian Gymkhana and both will be in Barcelona for the WGMA and IMHA World Cups.
Santa is with the England O65s and Bobby with the O40s. Santa started his England career as a veteran in 1985 at Lyon and has been a regular England Master since, collecting several gold medals and tournament top scorer. This is Bobby’s first year with England Masters, but he has already won gold at the Home Internationals at Southgate.
Johnsons family masters
The second pairing is George and Tim Johnson of Bromley & Beckenham HC, George has represented England indoors and England Masters at O50, O55, O60 and now O65. He is Chair of Selectors for the England O55 squad who will be at the IMHA World Cup in Terrassa. Tim Johnson represented England at the first ever Masters Indoors World Cup in Krefeld, Germany at O40s.
It is not just the men, Helen and Paula from Sutton Coldfield who both represent England masters. Daughter Helen (Scooby) Durrans, who is just 40, plays for England Over 40’s whilst mother Paula Maxwell, who is 69, plays for the England Over 65’s.
Paula Maxwell (O65s) and daughter Helen Durrens (O40s)
When in the army Scooby captained the Combined Services team and is presently captain of Sutton Coldfield HC 2nd team. Paula played for the inaugural Over 60’s England team at the World Cup in Rotterdam 2014.
Good luck to all the men and women representing England at the WGMA World Cup (20-30 June 2018, Polos Club, Barcelona) and the IMHA World Cup (27 July-5 August, Terrassa, Barcelona).
England Hockey Board Media release
HC Minsk look forward to EHL dream just 10 years into existence
HC Minsk have qualified for an EHL debut next October at ROUND1 in Barcelona following their success in the Belarus championships, combined with their EuroHockey Club Trophy performance.
A third place finish in Vienna, along with Stroitel Brest’s fifth place finish, was enough to boost Belarus’s EHL coefficient above that of Wales into 12th place on the rankings list, equal to one place in EHL ROUND1.
A couple of weeks later, they finished the regular season in Belarus in first place, ending with a six-point lead and a dominant total of 205 goals scored and 25 conceded.
It gave them top seeding for the playoffs where they won their two-legged semi-final 16-2 and 7-2 against HC Gomel.
It put them into the national final against Stroitel Brest in a first to three wins series. In Minsk, they lost their first tie on a shoot-out after normal time had ended 3-3.
But they bounced back a day later with a 1-0 win courtesy of Aliaksandr Hancharou’s single strike. He was on the mark twice when the sides met in game three in Brest along with Ivan Liakh in a 3-1 win and they got their clinching third win a day later with a 2-1 success, Liakh and Uladzislau Belavusau both scoring.
Hancharou was named the best player for the championship while top scorer was Belavusau.
Reacting to the success, Minsk’s Vitali Novik said: “It is a great honor to represent Belarus at a tournament of such a high level as the EHL.
“Our club, on July 1, will be just 10 years old and we look forward to meeting with teams more experienced and more skilled to really check the level of our preparation.
“We have set ourselves the task of getting to the KO16 and, if it happens in ROUND1, that we meet with Grange, we look forward to a rematch of our Trophy game in Vienna.
“Most importantly, our game will be broadcast on EurohockeyTV, something that will attract more youngsters to our club.”
Euro Hockey League media release
Rampant Police gun down Butali at the park
Kenya Police's Robert Masibo (right) vies for the ball with Butali Sugar Warriors' George Mutira (left) during their Kenya Hockey Union men's Premier League match at the City Park Stadium on June 17, 2018. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO | NATION MEDIA GROUP
By AYUMBA AYODI
Amos Barkibir scored a brace as champions Kenya Police crushed Butali Sugar Warriors 3-0 in a pulsating men’s hockey Premier League match at City Park Stadium on Sunday.
It was Butali's first loss of the season after seven straight wins After a scoreless battle in the first two quarters, Brian Saina latched on the loose ball rom the goal mouth melee before setting up Barkibir to open the scores in the 36th minute.
Calvins Kanu would float the ball into the danger zone from the right to get the evergreen Moses Cheplaiti, who wasted no time to beat Linus Sang in Butali’s goal in the 52nd minute.
Kanu was at it again, hauling another crispy pass from the right to find Barkibir in place for their third goal five minutes later, before putting up a formidable defence marshalled by Richard Birir to win the match.
The victory saw Police dislodge Butali from the top of the 12-team league standing with 24 points from eight wins and one loss, as Butali dropped one place to second with 21 points from seven wins and one loss even though they have a match in hand.
“It’s such a good feeling to score against such a quality side,” said Barkibir, a former Western Jaguars and St Anthony's Secondary School, Kitale, player.
“I was fit and composed, looking forward for a great show.”
However, Barkibir cautioned his teammates that the battle had just started.
“We are not there yet since this is just the first leg. I hope we uphold the great teamwork experienced today,” said the 21-year-old Barkibir.
Police deputy team manager Ezra Onyango noted that his team was well prepared and psyched for Butali.
“Some good team work and perfect passing did the trick, and kudos to Barkibir for his sharpness upfront,” said Onyango.
“We dominated in the first two quarters but wasted a short corner.”
However, the biggest movers of weekend in the men’s Premier league were Kenya College of Accountancy University (KCA-U). The students stunned former champions Strathmore University 2-0 on Saturday, before being forced to a 1-1 draw by visiting Nakuru on Sunday.
The results that saw KCA-U get four points hauling them from 10th place to fifth with eight points.
In the women’s Premier league, Telkom squeezed a 2-0 victory over Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) at City Park on Saturday with goals from Ann Juma (2nd) and Hellen Chemutai (39th) making the difference.
The victory enabled Telkom stay at the top of the league with an improved tally of 15 points from a clean run in five outings.
United States International University (USIU) beat Vikings 2-0 on Saturday, before drawing with JKUAT 0-0, results that saw USIU scale to third place with sevens points.
MHC plan to scrap Division One
By Jugjet Singh
KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) may organise only the Premier Division in next year’s Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).
The confederation plans to scrap the Division One competition, a move which will deprive up-and-coming players from at least 10 clubs an avenue to hone their skills.
MHC's competitions committee, tasked with reviving the MHL, came up with a plan to only have 10 to 12 teams in the Premier Division next season.
"Yes, our revamp will only see teams competing in the Premier Division, while there will not be a Division One next season," confirmed competitions committee manager Bryan Fernandez.
Last season, six teams played in the Premier Division while Division One attracted 13 teams.
Only eight teams sent in their entries for next year’s Premier Division.
They are University Kuala Lumpur (UniKL), Terengganu Hockey Team (THT), Maybank, Tenaga Nasional, TNB Thunderbolts, Nur Insafi, Penang Hockey Club and Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM).
Missing from the list were Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC), who won the Charity Shield and finished second in the league as well as the TNB Cup last season.
For the record, KLHC won the Premier Division six times and were crowned champions five times in the TNB Cup.
MHC are hoping that at least four more teams will play in the Premier Division next year.
Among the Division One clubs which will be hit hard if MHC carry out the culling are Politeknik-KPT, PJCC Tigers, Pahang Juniors, Kedah HC, RMAF Rajawali, Selangor and Ipoh City Council.
However, there is a glimmer of hope
"If clubs and states put up a strong case we might consider reinstating the Division One competition. We have plenty of time to think about it, as it will only be held next year," said MHC president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal.
Jugjet's World of Field Hockey
Sarjit: Re-think plan to scrap Division One
By Jugjet Singh
KUALA LUMPUR: Former national coach and Olympian Sarjit Singh feels the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) should have a re-think about their plan to scrap Division One from next season's Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).
MHC's competitions committee, chaired by George Koshy, were tasked with revamping the sagging MHL and they decided to only host the Premier Division next year.
Eight teams have registered for the Premier Division and they are University Kuala Lumpur (UniKL), Terengganu Hockey Team (THT), Maybank, Tenaga Nasional, TNB Thunderbolts, Nur Insafi, Penang Hockey Club and UiTM.
"The plan to scrap Division one is not in tandem with development in mind, as it will deprive many players from having a platform to gain experience after they are no longer eligible for the JHL (Junior Hockey League).
"MHC must ponder about their priorities. If they only want to see a small group of players competing in the MHL, then they can do away with the Division One.
"But if they want to develop a larger pool of players, then Division One is a very important tournament," said the former national captain who played at the 1984 Los Angeles and 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
In the MHL, Sarjit had played for Tenaga Nasional and Yayasan Negri Sembilan.
Last season, six teams competed in Premier Division while 13 teams in two groups in Division One.
But the MHC are only interested in about 10-12 teams to play in the Premier.
"If this becomes a reality, those who don't make it for the Premier will only have an option to play in the state leagues as well as Razak Cup, and no other avenue to showcase their talent."
Among the Division One clubs which will be hit hard if MHC carry out their plan are Politeknik-KPT, PJCC Tigers, Pahang Juniors, Kedah HC, RMAF Rajawali, Selangor and Ipoh City Council -- to name a few.
Jugjet's World of Field Hockey